Fabrizio Romano has revealed how Erik ten Hag was failed by the Manchester United board after failing to bring Cody Gakpo to Old Trafford.
It has emerged that Man United have missed out on one of their main transfer targets in the January window before it’s even opened.
PSV Eindhoven forward Gakpo had been linked with a move in the summer when a deal broke down as United opted to sign Antony from Ajax instead.
The rumours never went away, with a January move looking set to be resurrected after PSV were resigned to the fact that his future lay elsewhere after scoring 13 and assisting 17 in just 24 games this season.
Gakpo then followed that up by bagging three goals at the World Cup as he proved his class on the world stage.
Although personal terms were reportedly agreed according to The Athletic, Liverpool have now stolen a march by wrapping a deal up with PSV on Boxing Day from right under United’s noses, with Romano claiming the Red Devils’ board had let the Ten Hag down by not tying it up earlier.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said: “Manchester United had the chance to sign Cody Gakpo multiple times. It was close in August – the player gave his green light, Cody Gakpo wanted Manchester United move in August, but then nothing happened, they decided to wait.
“They were in touch with the agents of Cody Gakpo also in the last few days, for weeks, for months; we know the connection with Erik ten Hag, who is a big fan.”
“But for sure, for Erik ten Hag, he was a target and Man United were really slow in this process because they decided to wait a bit before deciding on the striker.”
TIF Thoughts on Romano’s comments…
It’s seemingly a disastrous start for United in the transfer window yet again, with the Red Devils seemingly in pole position to sign the 23-year-old since the summer.
But once more, the board have got themselves tied up over another deal, with Liverpool confirming an initial £35.4m fee rising to £44.3m for Gakpo, which appeared to go from rumour to rubber-stamped in a matter of hours.
United are in dire need of a new striker after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit and Gakpo was the obvious name as a replacement, and with limited availability in January, the Red Devils may have to clamour around for an alternative unless there is someone already lined up – but it wouldn’t be the first time United end up with a January panic-buy.